My topic for the debate is Net Neutrality – Con side. My side for this topic is sort of in the middle. For one thing, I don’t want my ISP to determine what I see on the internet. On the other hand, I think the government should’t have free reign on what ISP’s can and cannot do, as that would be restricting their freedoms to grow, and essentially inhibits capitalism at its core. I already know that this is a heavilt debated topic, and that much of the American populus is divided on the topic. Based on a single google search, I got a lot of articles based on the debate and definitions of it. Even though this debate started a while ago, there are still many people raising their own opinions and keeping the debate alive, even though net neutrality itself is gone. I plan on approaching this with how net neutrality can hurt us as a society, and why we should avoid it for the betterment of the internet. An ethical issue would be if the government has the right to control ISPs and determine how they run their business. Preventing them from running their company how they want, even if it means stopping ISPs from restricting certain content on the internet, is inherently bad. Because net neutrality is associated with the internet, and many kids, including the ones in my class, use it excessively, I could use emotions like anger to get the kids on my side, and make the pro side of net neutrality look worse than it is. This debate is going to be rough, I think. Net neutrality is something that many kids have a solid opinion on, and it will be difficult to change their opinions on it. From what I have seen, many people are for net neutrality, and believe in it fiercely. Also, many sources online are for net neutrality, and it will be difficult to find information for the con-side. The whole internet seems to be on the pro-side, so I’m definitely going to have to search deep for any useful information helping my case.
A current issue that could be up for debate is one that is pretty popular at the moment: immigration. More specifically, the border wall and if it is even necessary. One side is pro-wall, believing that it will do nothing but help our current immigration issues. On the other hand, the opposing side believes that the wall won’t be enough help to justify it’s constuction, and is a waste of money. Pro-wall’s main argument is that it will stem the tide of illegal immigrants coming into the country, and also keep less desirable people who wish to to harm to our country out. Anti-wall’s main argument is that the wall will not solve all of our immigration issues, and that it is an enormous waste of money. Personally, I’m with the anti-wall side for this debate, because most of all I believe that it is a huge waste of time. Our country’s money can be used for a much better things, like funding education, but is instead being used to pay for an unnecessary wall that will slow down illegal immigration by a small amount. It is all just incredibly stupid in my opinion. Moving on to how my school year has been going, I would say it has been going fairly well. I had a rough patch in the beginning of the year regarding homework, but after a hard scolding from my mother and losing my phone for a while, I’ve mostly gotten back on track. I’d rather not have to deal with that again. If I had to change anything, I would want to improve my ability to balance my work and after school activities. Since play is starting once more, and I am a Head Technician for it, balancing school work and the work I need to do for play will be difficult, if I once again fall behind due to laziness. If I can successfully do this, I can gain the trust of my teachers and parents once more that I am a responsible and hard-working student. The only thing I can see preventing this is my tendency to procrastinate and occasional laziness. I will need to work on those if I wish to succeed.
This was probably one of the hardest endeavors I have ever undertaken. Trying to micromanage yourself throughout the week wasn’t fun at all, and once I realized that, I had a harder time focusing on following the virtues and slipped even more. Industry was by far my worst virtue, as that had the most red put down. Not wasting time on things you don’t need to do is the exact opposite of what my daily life consists of, as I most often enjoy Youtube, Netflix, or my PS4 at the end of the day when all of my work is done. Temperance was my second worst, as I love to eat food, and I usually caught myself walking to the fridge, picking out an apple or piece of chocolate and instinctivly eating it, because that’s what I do to keep myself occupied. The next three I failed go hand in hand because of one person. Moderation, Silence, and Tranquility were all hard to follow throughout the week because of Tyler Kenney. Tyler and I do this thing where I bring up a conversation starter or give my opinion on something, and he will always disagree with it, even if he may also agree with it, just to get on my nerves and start a pointless debate. We have debated on the stupidest things over the past seven days, which in turn made me angry and annoyed with him, which made us continue to yell at each other over pointless topics, completeing the trinity of Moderation, Silence, and Tranquility. I would have had many less read markings if it wasn’t for Tyler. As for the rest of the virtues, they weren’t as difficult. I hadn’t wasted money on anything, I’ve had an easy time staying motivated, and I’ve been extra grateful over the week, making sure to thank my mother extra for making dinner, or thanking my friends and family for sticking it out with me so far. I shouldn’t have to explain chastity, that virtue is easy to follow once you put your mind to it. I don’t think I can say the same for some of the other kids in my grade though. In the end, I can understand why Franklin had such a hard time with these. It is very difficult to change yourself completely instantly, and if you are just starting out, you will inevitably fail. But after going through this once, I can see myself undertaking this again.
We return to poetry with a very special piece of work… The Dodo’s Conumdrum. This poem embodies everthing I hate about poetry. The struggle to understand its meaning, strange structure, and how to me it is just spouting nonsensical ramblings. The theme eludes me so far, but with a little more time and another dozen re-reads, I’ll come up with something. I think I’ve become better at answering the sound and sense questions, but with this poem, all of that built up skill was thrown out the window. Half of my answers are laughably bad, with way too many “not present in poem” answers. Then again, I was completely it on a time constrant, so I may have not given some of the questions the thought they needed. I just read this mentally taxing poem and said to myself, “whatever, I gotta go run a holiday concert in a half-hour, so let’s just get this done.” Writing poetry did affect the way that I read and analyzed the poem, as I was able to identify some things about it, like how it changes structure throughout its runtime, changing from ballad to free verse and then back to ballad. But most of the time I was distracted trying to figure out the message the poet was trying to convey, which made it so that I wasn’t really paying attention to the actual mechanics of the poem. Hopefully we go into detail and discuss this poem in class, because I’d really like to hear someone’s professional analysis on this. It’s sadly probably the only way that I’ll be able to wrap my head around it, once it is explained to me in detail. If the poems that we read in the future are like this as well, then I might be in some trouble.
When we first started this unit, (who knows how many times I’ve told you this by now), I hated poetry. But now, I cna safely say that i can tolerate it. After seeing all of the different poems we’ve read and analyzed, I seemed to have developed this newfound respect for the poems themselves and the poets behind them. Writing the two poems that we were required to construct was a monumental task (to me, at least). Through learning that poems can’t be produced a dime a dozen, the poets and the peoms they wrote grew into something that I wanted my poems to be like, even though they miserably failed to do so. Writing my first poem gave me the experience to improve upon my second peom, and I would say it worked. Both were absolute garbage, but I’d say that the second one was a little better than the first, how miniscule the difference might be. My second poem is about the human conscience and how discovering your emotions can lead you to connect to others like you. Though I don’t think I effeciently portrayed that message in the poem itself. I made it about that because I’ve always thought the minds of humans were interesting. Why do we think the way we do? Why do we believe in the sometimes nonsensical ideaologies or false God(s) that we believe in? This poem was the simplest way to explore human mind for me.
Adding visual components could potentially help my poem, just not im some cases. I described each emotion as weather, but I left the location of the weather comlpletely up to the reader. For me, I imagined a small town with a clock tower being affected by these emotions, but for someone else, it could have been completely different. Perhaps someone could imagine a desert, or a jungle, or an island in the middle of the ocean. However, I could add visuals like a lightning bolt to emphasize anger or a sun to portray happiness next to their respective stanzas to help reinforce the emotion I’m trying to convey. Visual elements could work in my poem, it just depends on the way you use them and in what context you use them.
All of the poems that we’ve read so far weren’t that bad, I guess. If I didn’t want to die while reading them, or if I didn’t fall want to rip my hair out while trying to decipher its meaning, I consider it good. Our discussion/ analysis od Eldorado was actually pretty interesting. The way that Mr. McGarry picked apart the poem and uncovered its hidden meaning was intriguing enough for me to be thoughouly engaged and wanting to know more. As for the poem that I’ve already wrote, there is a reason why I tend to avoid writing poetry. It was going well for maybe the first stanza, but after that, it all went downhill. It would pain me to read it over again, and quite frankly, I hope I never have to. That poem deserves to burn in the Pits of Tartarus for even being conceived. But I digress. Even though I struggled through writing that poem, I can’t say that I hated doing it. I didn’t feel any malice towards writing the poem, and I even cay say that I may have somewhat enjoyed myself. I didn’t see trying to maintain stanzaic form and rhythmic pattern as boring or a waist of time. I saw it as a challange that I was determined to overcome, even though end the end I utterly failed at doing so. Writing poems in the future definately will be easier with this mindset. By now, I’m just fishing for topics, so I’m gonna talk a little more about my history with poetry. My father has always been a big fan of poetry, and when I was little, he would always try to get me to read it. Me still being in elementary school, I didn’t understand any of it, and I obviously didn’t want to read it after a while. So my father let up and that was that. But I suspect this is what started my long hatred of poetry. If I had given it a chance, maybe things would be different. However, poetry doesn’t seem as bad as it did before.
To be brutally honest with you, I don’t have even the slightest idea how to approach my story. None of the 6 word short story options given to me inspired me at all, and currently, I stand with no characters or names, I am stuck between 3 garbage plotlines with no redeeming factors, and haven’t done ANY of the assignments posted on the classroom because of this. Currently, I’m freaking out because I’ve never been in this situation before, and am devising a way to flee the country. All jokes aside, I’m going to attempt to have a draft done by they end of this week, whether I like the topic I use or not. This, obviously, means that the story you get will be well below adequate. You probably realized by now, but I’m not a very creative person. I think most of my problems stem from the fact that I have to incorporate one of the 6 word short stories into my story, which forces me to write my story around that sentence, and doesn’t allow me to create my own unique story. However, the funny thing is, we did something like this in my english class last year, and I was perfectly fine. In fact, I would say the story I wrote then was a little bit above average. So, at the end of the day, I’m completely stumped on how to handle my situation. I’m also afraid that this whole endeavor makes me look like a terrible student, which I’m sure it does, and I can assure you, I’m not. Anyways, like I said, I’m gonna suck it up and get something out by Friday, and if I play my cards right, it might come out as somewhat servicable. Now, I didn’t write this blog to try and shell out sympathy from you, or try and make my situation look less bad than it is. I simply wrote this to report why I’ve been falling behind in class, and how I’m going to try to fix it. It doesn’t matter how bad of a story I write, my grade is already tanked anyways.
(Picture would not insert, technology sucks)
The book I’m currently reading is God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, by Christopher Hitchins. Now, I’ve had a long history with religion throughout my life. I went to a church when I was little, and was always taught that “Jesus loves me”, or to “Let God into your heart”, which quite frankly, I didn’t care much for. The funny thing is, the only reason why I even accepted to blindly follow that belief, was not because I believed in it. It was because I wanted to be able to have the little bread squares and grape juice that they handed out occasionally. (I don’t even remember why they did). When I was given the chance to not wake up early to go to church and listen to things that I didn’t care about, I gladly accepted. Which is why, a decade later, I’m reading this book. I’ve obviously grown since then, more importantly mentally, and I’ve come to have a growing interest in the concept of religion. I may be an atheist, but I still enjoy reading and learning about religion’s inner workings, which is what this book provides. However, it also provides a topic that is the reason why I mainly wanted to read this book, and, based on the title, I think it’s easy to figure it out. Reading about how religion is the base of many of the worlds problems, or how it caused the deaths of millions upon millions of people throughout the centuries, or how it persecuted and ruined the lives of innocent people, is eye-opening. It makes me want to share this book with others, like people who are diehard religious fanatics, and hear their opinions about it. I am currently reading a chapter for arguments about the design of religion, and how at times it can be self-contradictory, or at time not make any sense at all. This is probably my favorite chapter so far, as it calls out the creators of certain religion, (as Hitchens uses multiple religions as examples), and calls out logical fallicies. An example being how the Bible and God discourages jealousy, yet one of the Ten Commandments says “No other gods before me”, which is literally God being jealous of other gods. I can’t wait to see the other arguments this book has in store for me, and am eager to read more.
When I first read this story, I very mch enjoyed it due to how different it was. I’ve never read something from a writer like Washington Irving, and I can say I as pleasantly surprised. Most people don’t like old authors who use words that are centuries old, but I’ve always found it enlightining to see different words that are used for everyday speech that we use. I have read similar books, in the way they are told, not necessarily the genre they are or the story they tell. My father is really into philosophy, and as a result, he’s recommended some books to me that I’ve read. Now, the reason why Washington Irving wote this story was not just to present one of the worst human beings ever created, but to bring attention to what makes him one of the worst human beings created. For an example, greed is a big factor in this story, noy only pertaining to him, but to also his wife, and both of their spitefulness and hatred for one another is so great that I’m surprised that they hadn’t already killed each other before the Devil stepped in. Even when Tom’s wife was taken/killed, it didn’t even faze him. Finally, I wouldn’t change the story to fit a modern audience, for even though it’s easy to read, the grammer and word choice are turn-offs for some people. However, stories like these, in my opinion, must be read how they were written to get the full effect of the story.
After this week long endeavor of notes about the Elements of a Short Story, I can say that I don’t really see short stories in a new light, I just know how they are structured now. When I think of a story, the first thing that comes to mind, oddly enough, is the story of the first installment of my favorite video game franchise, Destiny. It was known to be gloriously bad, and after following along with these notes, I understand why. It has almost nothing of what the notes say a short story should have, including multiple forms of complication, like dilemma, foreshadowing, or suspense. It doesn’t have a theme at all, as the story really only has you running around doing errands, and it has little-to-no side characters. (The side characters that do exist has almost no impact on the story at all!). I can say that these notes did change my view on this story, as I can now say that I think it sucks even more than I previously thought. However, Destiny is still Destiny, and it will always be my favorite video game, as the actual lore that is written for the game is very well written, and very enjoyable to read. Not to mention the actual game play, which is the best first-person shooting I have ever had the pleasure of playing. The super abilities, like throwing flaming hammers or shooting singularities of void-light is a plus, too. The difference between observing the story and being and active participant in the audience is exactly that, being active. An active reader is always examining the story to its finite details, and ponders the meaning behind the words on the page. Meanwhile, a casual observer is only reading the story for the story, and accepts whatever happens and moves along. To be honest, I am both of these readers. Sometimes I read a story just to entertain myself, not wanting to have to think about the details and just enjoy the story. Sometimes I’m an active reader, mostly if the story really interests me, and I want to understand the deeper meaning. Finally, my 2nd week was mostly better than my first week. Nothing outlandish happened, and I’ve grown accustomed to my classes and teachers.